How to Structure Your Disruption :: A Manifesto in 4 Steps
I wrote this blog post as a guest writer for the podcast and blogging QUEEN of Florida, Katie Krimitsos from Biz Women Rock.
Here's the link to the piece on her site as well : http://bizwomenrock.com/structuring-your-disruption-in-four-simple-steps/
One morning you wake up. You reflect on your career so far and you think, "Damn, I've accomplished a lot more than I let myself take credit for. So why do I feel so empty?"
Maybe you're on zero because you've lost your passion, your inspiration, your edge, your driving force. Maybe you need an interruption. An agitation. DISRUPTION.
Oooh wait. Scary! Does that seem chilling? Career killing? Life limiting? Risky? Or like the only thing that might let you breathe deeply and sleep soundly again?
You dream of a kind of "real work" that makes you buzz with excitement every morning when you wake up, and go to bed feeling pleasantly exhausted and totally fulfilled, even when the day is a dark one (and there will be plenty of those). There's no such thing as a one-stop shop for "just add water" greatness. But there is a philosophy, a timbre, and infrastructure behind fluid authenticity and the alchemy of model leadership.
This rhythm and serendipity leads to great, complete, and sustainable businesses, shaped by fiery, real, visionary leaders. And these great and tall leaps of faith are relatively simple to manifest, if the pieces are in place, and if you're truly ready.
Want to fly? Consider these 4 steps for structuring your disruption.
STEP 1 :: CONTEMPLATE FAR-REACHING GREATNESS (GOOD, BAD, UGLY)
Root. Find your center. How did you get to this place? What is good about that?
Check in. Why do you need a change? What change do you need? What's the catalyst?
Save Yourself. Identify that the change you need is within YOU. Others can help, but only you can do it.
Play. Get out of your head. Be still. Or be crazy. Do things that feel decadent and time consuming and do them just because they are fun. Be "unproductive". You're going to have some of the most creative brainstorms of your LIFE.
Re-Root. Return to the beginning. Start anew. Be present and prepared.
STEP 2 :: CREATE A MISSION STATEMENT
Who Are You? Clarify what drives you. What makes you different from everyone else, but particularly those who do what you do, who have been where you have been, and who may be hitting the same wall.
Where Are You? Where is your head/heart? Are you ready to catalyze this change? And where is your body located? What does your community support? Do you want to travel? Do you want to work for yourself or be an authentic leader in someone else's business?
What Are You? What is your role? What talents do you bring (see "Who Are You?") . Is your role in the world clear and defined? Is that definition true at work? Where is your "edge" and how comfortable are you on that edge?
When Will You Be Ready? Flying takes practice. Jumping or being kicked out of the nest is a strategy, but not always the first line. The best offense is a great defense. Know your moves. Make your map. Hunt like a ruthless pirate for what will fill your cup.
STEP 3 :: DECLARE YOUR PURPOSE
Say It. Then Say It Again. Recite your purpose ten times in a row in a mirror. Yes. A mirror. This is not easy, but it's critical.
Declare It. Announce your disruption in person to at least 3 close friends, colleagues, and confidantes. This requires you to commit. And to stay committed.
Go Public. Put it out to the world on a blog, website, or a mission document to your core audience. Now you have a working piece of infrastructure, born of a dream.
Let it BREATHE. Let the thing you have created "be". It needs a life. It has to be chastised and chased away. It has to come back with it's tail between it's legs. And you must let it lead a separate life from you. Your heart and this manifesto cannot be one and the same.
STEP 4 :: STEP INTO THE ABYSS (DARK, BUT SAFE.)
Architect Your Autonomy. Build what you want and then take the first step. Work in bite sized pieces. Rome wasn't built in a day. Sort out your risk tolerance first, and follow up by pushing the line as far as you can without paralyzing yourself.
Outline Your Differentiators. There is no such thing as competition when you are creating your own interruption. No one else can or will interrupt the way you do. So what makes you, YOU? And how does that figure into your strategic structure?
Prioritize What's Next.
1. First YOU. Are you happy? Are you whole? Are you ready?
2. Then your intellectual property. Write it, write again, and write some more.
3. Now your audience/marketplace. Get it out there and see what comes back.
Now... Manifest (and manifest-o).
Now take all of that goodness and free write your manifesto. Be a composer. Get comfy in that space where you lose time and simply succumb, because that's the creation place, it's practice-driven, and it's a meditation. Now that you have done the essential pre-work, your manifesto even in draft form is nearly an executive summary. Let it clearly define what you want to interrupt, why you want to interrupt, who you can interrupt, and how that interruption helps you, and the world.
Guess what? You went from zero to PLAN. You have the map to the hidden treasure. You have fresh salty sea air, and a boat gliding over the waves. You have space, time, room, and a healthy, quiet defiance. You have hope, inspiration, optimism, and the promise of new ports of call, and plenty of adventure.
You might change the world, or maybe just yourself.